Today we were reminded why one shouldn’t write off a company that pioneered cellular telephony as we know it today. After many years, Motorola’s charm worked its magic again as it dethroned HTC as Google’s preferred partner for Android devices.
Motorola today unveiled its worst-kept secret and probably the best Android phone out there in the market – the DROID. It is the first device running Android 2.0 and will be available on Verizon’s CDMA (EvDO) network in the US starting November 6 for $199 over a two-year contract.
While we haven’t yet managed to lay our mitts on the device, initial reviews have been raving and it is already been termed as Verizon’s best smartphone that can compete with THAT phone on AT&T’s network.
With a thickness of just 13.7 mm, the DROID is being claimed as the world’s thinnest phone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. To put it into perspective, the iPhone 3GS is 12.3 mm thick. So for about 1.4 mm extra, you get a full physical QWERTY keyboard. Then there is the massive 3.7 inch WVGA display, which is not only bigger than the iPhone’s but is also based on capacitive touch technology that makes it finger-friendly.
Since it is runs Android 2.0, you’d get Exchange support right out of the box, an improved browser that supports HTML5 and lots of other goodies that we highlighted yesterday. However, the biggest improvement in the OS was announced today – turn-by-turn voice based navigation on Google Maps. That’s right folks, no matter where you are, you will get GPS-based navigation for free (data costs apply according to your plan, of course).
Going back to the hardware specs, the DROID has a 5.0 MP camera with auto-focus, dual-LED flash and image stabilisation. Add to it digital zoom and macro mode added by Android OS 2.0. It also shoots video at 720×840 pixels albeit at 24 fps and the DROID easily becomes the best camera phone on Android.
To sweeten the deal, we are already hearing about a GSM version of DROID, which should make its way to India soon. How soon, we dunno, but we are keeping our fingers crossed.